After returning home from a tough 1-0 win against the Newcastle Jets at Hunter Stadium, Captain Eugene Galekovic was relieved with the three points, but knows they must improve fast as the finals close in.
It was a typical gritty bottom-versus-top contest that has the potential to define a season, and Galekovic said he had never seen the Hyundai A-League table so tight at this time of the year.
With four games left to play, Galekovic said that the Reds need to play better football to win more games convincingly and go into the finals full of confidence.
“The main thing is that we got the points (against Newcastle) but we have to assess ourselves and our training to prepare for Sydney and the games ahead,” he said.
“Sydney are the most in-form team of the comp right now and it’s a massive game for both teams – if we win we go on top of them and we’d be a really good shot at the top of the table.”
And Galekovic put in a solid shift away from home, too, stopping a threatening Newcastle attack on five occasions.
The depth of the squad was truly tested after Pablo Sanchez, Marcelo Carrusca and Nigel Boogaard were all forced to withdraw from the match and the Reds were forced to play the last 15 minutes of the game with ten men.
Early assessments show that Carrusca could be out for a few weeks, while Sanchez and Boogaard should be able to resume training.
But Galekovic is confident that whoever would fill in for these players against Sydney FC would be able to do the job.
“The boys who got injured are obviously going to be big losses but whoever comes in knows that they have to perform well to be a part of the finals series.
“Everyone’s motivated to do well and hopefully we’ll get Awer back into the side which will be a big boost.”
Galekovic knows that the players must be focused in training this week, and turn up for a big match away from home against a Sydney team who just defeated league leaders Wellington Phoenix 3-0.
“We can’t just rock up or play like we did Saturday- playing away from home is always tough but we do always give ourselves the chance to win games,” he conceded.
“If you know Arnie (Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold), then you know that he can recruit well and he’s done that and it’s showing on the pitch now.
“Whoever wins these games at this time of the season has the best chance at the top of the table, and we’ll be fully focused on that.”
Adelaide United will next travel to take on Sydney FC on Saturday 4 April 2015 at Allianz Stadium in Round 24 of the Hyundai A-League 2014/15 Season. Kick-off at 7:30pm (7:00pm ACDT).